While portable solar charging itself is not a new concept, the effectiveness of the concept has so far stopped it from becoming a common technology. Either they are too small or too clumsy to be carried around. The inventors of Solar paper intend to change that and introduce solar power as a true portable energy source. Their solar sheets provide electricity at 10 Watts, and it is lighter than iPhone 6 Plus too, just a little longer and broader.
The paper’s thickness is a mere 0.4 inches that makes it thin enough to slip into the pages of a book unnoticed. It weighs only 120 grams, and it is therefore being billed as the World’s thinnest and lightest solar charger. Despite having this title, its utility goes beyond shape and size. The power option available for us depends on our usage. We can connect all four panels to provide 10 watts of power. It is same as any 5W/2A charger.
Other useful additions to the contemporary solar charger culture include the automatic startup of the gadget when it detects sufficient light. Other chargers need to be manually turned on and off based on the intensity of the light. It eases the use of the energy source and removes the hassle of turning it on and off. There is also a built-in screen that shows the current strength and voltage being generated by the panels. Solar cells need to be repositioned from time to time according to the solar angle, and this information helps us in adjusting it to receive the right amount of power. The power producing wafer is also waterproof and has several grommet holes for the attachment of options.
All these simple, yet effective features of the portable power system appeal to the general public as charging our mobiles, tabs and laptops have always been difficult for us. The Kickstarter campaign has been very successful in generating crowd funds and 50,000 $ target was achieved in 2 days of its launch. Early bird pledges start from 69 $ per 5W package to close to 450 dollars for a pack of four. Shipping is expected to commence at the end of this year.
Idealy if you could have somone come in once a week to check beratty levels, you could leave the system on. 2 Months is a little long to leave batteries inactive but if you have no one in the area to check them, they can be idled. The inverter is not needed to be on and it will not be affected wither way if shut off for that period. Panels themselves should be okay if left open circuit, If you happen to have to a dump load system, that would not be a bad idea to switch that in. Otherwise a couple low voltage incandescent bulbs as load for each panel/array circuit so the panels at least have a nominal load on them when charging would be the best approach. It does not have to be a lot. A pair of 40 watt bulbs, or a pair of 60 watt bulbs fed directly and solely by the panels through the voltage regulator would suffice. Essentially for these you can leave the charge controller circuit online, just disconnect the batteries. If you have no choice and do a total shutdown, top the batteries up for water level and charge, and then wash the batteries down or at least wipe off the top of the case very well, and spray the tops with WD40 to displace any remaining water, which will cause the beratty to self discharge by providing a path across the top of the beratty. The batteries will lose some charge, but these steps saved some batteries I had to let sit for 7 months untended. They retained about 80% charge, which was more than one can hope for. Just remember to equallize/desulphate them when put back in service.